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Thread: Winnipeg velocar

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  1. #1
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Winnipeg velocar

    There is one velomobile that I know of here in Winnipeg, I think it's a quest, and was brought in from the Netherlands. I desire to build something along that line. Been reading about Brads velo and looking on the net for more info as well. I found some info on a Lightfoot cycles velocar made from around 1984 to 2008 thats seems doable. They came in a couple different configurations from a single seat with cargo to a van style even a pickup. Like Brads design they used a delta trike as the frame basis. So with winter approaching and having a heated seperate garage a new build will be started. Not for a speedster, I have the Warrior for that but for a cool little Velocar. Over the next few days I will purchase some plans, and combine them. I,m thinking Delta style, able to carry possibly a passenger with rear suspension and possibly front as well.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Look forward to seeing your work.
    One day when I have an interior workspace again, I will revive my velocar project.

    Brad

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Thank you darnthedog. Reading about dacron makes it sound like a very good product for my use. One thing about canvas was I couldnt figure out was how to stretch it taut with all the uneven surfaces and curves. dacron and some heatnbond tape and an old iron may make that part relatively simple. Google found a company called aircraft spruce canada for the fabric. Michaels craft store sells a product called heatnbond tape which might be good around the edges to hold the fabric before ironing. Any thoughts on that will be appreciated. Once again, thanks.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Sound like a fun project. I look forward to your progress.
    What's Next?

  5. #5
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Well I have ordered and received 6 yards of medium weight Dacron. Also included in that order was an iron made specifically for Dacron type projects. Reading about using the Dacron it is strongly reccommended to use an infared temp gun to calibrate the iron, a nice one was found on Amazon for $22. The front frame has been finished and painted, it according to my highly accurate bathroom scale weighs 16 lbs. Using the front derailleur mast and the top of the body just ahead of the windshield as mounting points a tube was built to lock the body in place when in the upright position. A piece of conduit with a frame tube that slides into the conduit works great. I had a seat clamp that fit and it works to hold the body up. When I have the time I will be cutting and fastening the coroplast to the frame

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    First step completed, I purchased all the Delta trike plans and will spend time reviewing them to be able to make something that I envision. It will wind up being approx 100" to 112" long, 50" high and somewhere around 42" wide. The frame for the body will be steel, as small and light as I can make it and the sides will be coroplast. The roof will have a flexible solar panel-they can bend 30 degrees which will charge a small motorcycle type battery that will operate head, tail and turn lights. It will have 1 door on the right side. The drive system requires some thought. I may go with 1 wheel drive, if so no need to make any special parts, just build a wraparound frame for each rear wheel and then no modification needed to mount the rear wheels. Of course electric assist as well. Not sure about mid or hub drive. I own 2 e assist bikes, the Warrior has a BionX hub drive and the fat bike has a Bafang mid drive and each type has good and bad points.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    If your going delta trike, you could drive one axle with electric and the other being pedal so there is no conflict. Two wheel drive is only required if your fighting lots of slipper riding. Sand, Ice, Snow.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Why are you putting Dacron fabric over the coroplast unless I am missing something?
    Look at how a canoe is covered using Dacron (Skin On Frame) construction. No need for the coroplast
    It rains almost every day here in Washington but it isn't as COLD as Idaho

  9. #9

    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Quote Originally Posted by MrIdaho View Post
    Why are you putting Dacron fabric over the coroplast unless I am missing something?
    Look at how a canoe is covered using Dacron (Skin On Frame) construction. No need for the coroplast
    See post #19
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  10. #10
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    The project continues albiet slowly. i got hung up on the percieved problem of tape that will stick to coroplast and a glue that will bind to it since the Dacron will need to be glued in a few spots to hold it in place prior to be shrunk with the iron I got from an aircraft supply house. for the tape I finally went to Home Depot and picked up a roll of 3m Scoth heavy duty duct tape and a roll of Nathua snow and ice tape. Both seem to hold quite well and I think the snow and ice tape holds a bit better. For the issue of a bonding agent-read glue- I bought and tested JB plastic weld. First an ice pick was used to poke a lot of holes on 2 test scrap coro pieces. They were then smeared with the JB plastic weld and then many more holes on the top of the coro and a piece of Dacron pressed into the JB. In both cases the JB was pushed into the ice pick holes and it is holding exceptionally well. All of the solutions to these 2 problems I could find on the net seemed to involve very expensive chemicals and thats not happening. Coro is very slippery stuff. So far the front side panels have been cut and mounted along with the top panel and the right rear panel was cut out today as well. The nose so far is just a flat panel but I,m thinking a more rounded piece will be made. The coro has so far met my expectations, it bends quite nicely around the frame giving it a rounded shape. I've taken a couple pictures but it really needs all the panels constructed and in place so the zip ties can be applied properly. I will photo the steps as it proceeds. Then it will be taken off the work table and given a once over to ensure the lines are not too far out. This because of the way it was built, I tried to ensure all measurements were equal on both sides but am sure it will need a little readjustment. Once all the panels are done and tied together tape will be applied to all the seams. After that the Dacron will be applied, glued down and shrunk using the small iron

  11. #11
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    Winnipeg, Manitoba
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Quick update and plan revision. Read through all the plans purchased and decided a delta trike is not for me. I enjoy riding my Warrior trike way too much. Went on a few rides this past couple weeks and it was just around the freezing mark and my hands do not like the cold so the decision has been made to build bodywork on the Warrior first. The trike now has a mesh seat and it is a little steeper angle than the original plywood / foam seat which feels more comfortable to me. I am using thin round rod 1/8 and 3/16th approx dia to build the body frame. A removeable front boom extension has been added and it will allow the body from the back of the seat to the front to pivot up and forward. The front wheels are going to be enclosed by the bodywork. The "skin" at first will be a lite weight painters dropcloth which will be stretched over the frame and painted. No plans to install a floor at this time. I will also use the existing rear rack to fasten a removeable tailbox enclosing the rear wheel. Same construction style but also using some coroplast on the inside and bottom for room for a few tools, spare tubes, jacket etc. I have started this modification already, so far the boom extension is done and the rod has been bent to the profile over the front wheels. it's snowing outside now so winter is here, perfect time to build. Once a bit more of the frame has been built I will post up some pictures, should be within the following week.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Hi!
    Sounds like an interesting approach and many good thoughts!

    If/when you return to the two wheels in the rear strategy:
    I can add som experience to DTD:s suggestion to pedal on one of the rear wheels and assist on the other one.
    That’s the way I’ve been cruising around for two years by now and it seems to work ok.
    Since I’m a bit lazy the primary power comes from the electric assist on rear right.
    As a consequence the velomobile strives a little to the left, I must admit that; One must always keep a hand on the steering wheel.
    It is however not on a disturbing level.

    Looking forward to seeing the body, especially floor and sunpanel parts!

    //hp

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Okay I'll try to answer why the Dacron over the coro for me. Initially the frame was to be covered with lightweight painters canvas and so I picked some up on a shopping trip in N Dak when I went there to buy a smaller diameter pulley. I knew the canvas stretched over the wire frame would not look "rounded" like the nice factory made velos, images found via google confirmed this. It gave what I would call a Zeppelin look. So lots of web surfing later and youtube videos coroplast velos caught my eye. Some were quite professional looking, others not so much. One thing noticeable is on some zip ties are used to hold the panels together and the seams are covered with tape. The nicer looking ones seem to favour bending the coro, this is a good way, it stiffens the panel. That still leaves a seam though. I decided to try the coroplast, at the start the intention was to just use say 3" or so wide strips of along the rod frame then I figured what the heck just make panels of the stuff. Now the frame is obviously narrow at the front, widening at the front wheels then tapers to the rear of the seat where it's just a little wider then my shoulders. Plus it is a bit narrower from bottom to the top, so lots of curves. The first 2 front panels of coro on the frame turned out better than expected, they held a nice curve that was pleasing to my eye. Then the top deck was fabricated, it's basically flat till the last few inches near the cockpit where it angles down a little. It's high enough to clear my feet and my knees but I thought a bit more clearance would be nice. Many of the "real velos" have raised portions on the top deck where the feet and knees reside IMHO this is to allow them to have a lower deck but still offer clearance. Plus it looks good, much the the front end of a Triumph GT6 I owned many years ago. So the top deck on mine got slots cut into it and an 1 1/2" raised piece with tapered sides around 30" long added. Next one of the rear panels behind the wheelwell was fabricated and it too curved nicely around the framework. Everything I've read about coro says it's hard to glue or tape because of it's properties. Hence the mechanical fasteners like zip ties or rivets. I,m goin with zip ties. One thing you should know about me is I,m not a perfectionist and lack the room or the patience to design a professional looking product. What's needed in my climate is something durable. The weather here goes from above 35C in summer to below 35C in winter. No hurricanes or earthquakes but we do get thunderstorms, strong winds, occasional tornados and some blizzards. As a result of the weather the roads are crappy, summer is rebuild and repair season. Now we get to why the Dacron over the coro. The metal rods are the bones, the coro provides some nice rounded skin . After the zip ties are used the seams are to be covered with tape, it,s holding up quite well in my garage but come the summer heat frankly I think it will loosen. So the Dacron will be used as wrap over the whole body. It gets glued in the valleys and along the undersides and once its ironed should be nice and mostly wrinkle free. I have a couple of test pieces of coro in the garage where I,m using JB plastic weld, first a bunch of small holes are punched into the coro then 2 pieces of it were pressed together and then on its topside same procedure with a small piece of Dacron. The JB squeezes into the holes acting like a rivet and it holds the Dacron nicely as well. Once thats all done it will be warmer weather and the garage doors can be opened and some paint applied. When the Warrior was built it took a couple months to get the shifters etc all sorted out and turn it into a nice reliable ride, the addition of a hub motor required a bit of extra bracing to the rear forks. No doubt this procedure will be similar

  14. #14
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    After my somewhat lengthy prev thread I went out to the garage and added another panel plus put a few zip ties in prior to a trim job. Keep in mind the tailbox has not even been started yet

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    This is the beginning of the trike frame for the body. In the back ground is a sheet of yellow coroplast which will be test covered with the light weight canvas. The wood across the front wheels is there to give the correct spacing and will be removed once a bit more frame has been constructed and it becomes more rigid.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh View Post
    This is the beginning of the trike frame for the body. In the back ground is a sheet of yellow coroplast which will be test covered with the light weight canvas. The wood across the front wheels is there to give the correct spacing and will be removed once a bit more frame has been constructed and it becomes more rigid.
    Was there meant to be an accompanying picture with this?
    Regards,
    Dan.

    Weld, swear, grind-off & repeat.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Since the front part of the body is really taking shape now I've started thinking about the tailbox. Initially it was to completly cover the rear wheel which meant an access door would have been needed to make tire pressure checks easier. But this morning I saw pictures of a velomobile called an Orca. It's tailbox has a line starting behind the seat and angling upwards towards the back that leaves the rear axle and some of the wheel exposed. That style appeals to me, it would lower a bit of available cargo space compared to a complete cover but that's okay.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Nice momentum in the process! Sounds as our wheater and road conditions are similar, interesting to see how your concept turns out.

    Another aspect that will be interesting to hear the evaluation is the acoustical properties. Will the dacron add-on create a more noise damping fairing?

    //h

  20. #20
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    Apr 2017
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    Winnipeg, Manitoba
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    Default Re: Winnipeg velocar

    Yes Danny in the post below the statement there is a picture, blame it on my less than stellar computer skills. I did a bit more work on it today, managed to make the framework a bit more rigid and tested the pivot point at the front to make sure all is ok. And now I will take a few days off since there is no hurry on this build.

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